7 Best Vibraphone VST Plugins 2024

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The vibraphone is an excellent instrument for classical and jazz music. That doesn’t mean you won’t occasionally hear it elsewhere too, though, like in pop, R&B, or progressive rock. Basically, if it’s a style of music requiring a mellow feel, the vibraphone totally fits the bill.

While it might not be an instant go-to like piano or guitar, there will certainly be times as a producer, songwriter, arranger, or composer when you need that rich, dreamy tone to evoke the right mood and feeling.

So, in this guide, we look at the best vibraphone VST plugins.

Solo Vibraphone by Cinematique Instruments – Best Overall

Solo Vibraphone by Cinematique Instruments – Best Overall

Cinematique Instruments took advantage of a Yamaha orchestra vibraphone to capture the sounds heard on Solo Vibraphone.

With a four and a half octave range, there are three articulations included with Solo Vibraphone – mallets, bowed articulation, and prepared articulations (using spoons, coins, spatulas, washers, and fold paper). As you can imagine, that makes this entry quite versatile.

Solo Vibraphone also comes with FX (chorus, octaver, bit crusher), several reverb types, and an eight-step sequencer with a voicing engine per step.

Roughly 1,200 samples are included.

Altogether, Solo Vibraphone sounds great. The mallets articulation is perfect for all your standard vibraphone needs, and the effects add a nice flavor to the samples. The bowed articulation is great for mellow swells and ambient textures.

Finally, the prepared articulations add some interest to the attack.

Solo Vibraphone requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or above.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Fine Mallets Bundle by Cinematique Instruments – Best Premium Option

Fine Mallets Bundle by Cinematique Instruments – Best Premium Option

Cinematique Instruments’ Fine Mallets Bundle isn’t just a vibraphone VST – it’s a collection of seven mallet instruments, including vibraphone, metallophone, glockenspiel, spieluhr, kalimba, crystal bowl, and bass marimba.

The vibraphone you find here is effectively the same as Solo Vibraphone, so there’s no need to purchase both this and Solo Vibraphone if you have no need for the other sounds. One or the other will do nicely.

As with Solo Vibraphone, Fine Mallets Bundle features cardboxes, spoon, spatulas, different mallets, and other articulations depending on the instruments. Of course, you’ll find a tremolo effect, arpeggiator, and other handy tools for shaping the tone.

All the instruments are excellent, and they exhibit the same level of quality and versatility as Solo Vibraphone.

Fine Mallets Bundle requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or above.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Cassette Vibraphone for Kontakt by THEPHONOLOOP – Best Budget Option

Cassette Vibraphone for Kontakt by THEPHONOLOOP – Best Budget Option

Just so you are aware, THEPHONOLOOP’s Cassette Vibraphone is available for various DAWs like Logic, Ableton, and even SFZ format. The Kontakt version, though, is probably more universal than the rest, which is why we’ve only featured this version in this guide.

Complete with round-robin samples, simulated round-robin (via Kontakt), a three-octave range, four dynamic layers using four separate cassette decks, Cassette Vibraphone also comes with 2,372 samples (592 per deck), and four noise samples per deck.

Notes were carefully denoised to help you avoid the stacking of noise, but you can add noise back in using the noise knob.

Cassette Vibraphone also features custom convolution reverb impulses (four halls, three corridors, four springs) with pre or post, and 42 presets.

For the price, Cassette Vibraphone really sounds stellar. If you’re not into the “lo-fi” vibe, then you might want to skip it. But otherwise, this is a great sounding, well designed, decently versatile, and affordable little collection. That makes it our best budget option.

Cassette Vibraphone requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.6 or higher, though, so if you don’t already have Kontakt, you may not save any money here.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Budapest Abstract Vibes by Karanyi Sounds

Budapest Abstract Vibes by Karanyi Sounds

If you’re looking for modern vibraphone sounds, Karanyi Sounds’ Budapest Abstract Vibes might just be down your alley.

The sounds captured were played using a variety of sticks and techniques, be it metal brush or string bow. The developers even threw in some ambience and synth sublayers for added atmosphere – perfect for film scoring and even electronic music.

Budapest Abstract Vibes features four articulations, three mic positions (close – Shure SM57, and mid – two AT35s), as well as synth and FX.

The sounds were captured using a Yamaha concert vibraphone with four traditional techniques, three velocity layers (piano to forte), five octaves, 18 parameters (including tremolo), MIDI learn, nine synth sublayers, and 50 presets.

While the developer has obviously gone to some pains to make this product sound unique, in practice it’s very much like Cinematique Instruments’ Solo Vibraphone. The good news is that it costs about the same, and it also sounds comparable.

Budapest Abstract Vibes requires the full version of Kontakt 5.8.1 or higher.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Principessa by Soundiron

Principessa by Soundiron

Soundiron’s Principessa takes after the rare “Princess” organ sound. In practice, though, it sounds like a vintage organ / synthesizer hybrid.

This late 60s / early 70s organ came with 43 keys on each tier (upper and lower), bass pedals, an expression pedal, and an array of rocker switches for voice and effect settings.

Soundiron equipped the Principessa with plenty of new, sound-shaping parameters – attack, release, volume, transient offset, octave layering, vibrato, Glide slider, LFO system, 13 FX, arpeggiator, and much more.

This makes Principessa not just a “throwback Thursday” novelty but a capable tool for ambient, soundscapes, film scoring, and more.

In total, expect to find vibrato, glide speed, LFO, filter, arp, FX, sustain, staccatos, sound designed samples, Glide slider, Octave knob, 119 convolution reverb models, 794 stereo samples, and nine sounds – vibraphone, piano, harpsichord, synth flute, bass clarinet, trombone, trumpet, strings, and diapason.

Principessa requires the full version of Kontakt 5.5 or higher.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Marble by Cinematique Instruments

Marble by Cinematique Instruments

Cinematique Instruments’ Marble is a creative composer tool with a modern flare. In simple terms, it’s a two-track 16-step sequencer with complete control over every step (volume, pan, tune, filter, drive, reverse, and so on).

You can choose from 63 sound sources for the two tracks. The sources come with up to 6x round robin and multiple dynamic layers. Thanks to its chromatic framework, Marble lets you create in any key or with any combination of chords.

Additional fine-tuning is not only allowed but encouraged, with 13 effects, all of which can be adjusted in 127 steps. The modwheel runs through all steps.

Marble features several sound categories, including natural and organic (with vibraphone / metallophone, kalimba, glockenspiel, and others), synth (pure saw, classical, modern bass, etc.), drum kits (electro drums, domestic, bungalow, etc.), percussive (shaker, dead guitar strokes, etc.), and pad and textures (ambient, stretched metal, feedbacks, etc.).

Altogether, Marble equips you with 63 instruments, up to 6x round robin and 8x dynamic layering, 2,500 samples, two-track 16-step sequencer (controllable with 12 parameters), a fully chromatic design, 13 effects, 900 presets, infinite play by freezing, random engine, and more.

Marble should make for an incredible soundscape tool but may not offer much by way of pure vibraphone – just so you know!

Marble requires the full version of Kontakt 5.6.8 or higher.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

Portatron by Robotic Bean

Portatron by Robotic Bean

Robotic Bean’s Portatron is effectively a lo-fi four-track cassette recorder VST plugin. Perfect for adding a lo-fi vibe to just about anything, Portatron comes with EQ, reverb, delay, tape saturation, tape speed, noise, dropouts, start / stop lag, normal / chrome, drive, and wobble. It can be used as a looper or as a monophonic synth, depending on your needs.

But “where’s the vibraphone” you may ask. Well, Portatron features its very own sound library, complete with hundreds of samples – vibraphone, piano, vocals, synths, hydrophones, shortwave radio, and more.

So, altogether, you get four tracks of sample playback, library sound bank with patches and samples, delay and reverb send effects, channel controls (drive, EQ, level, and pan), tape editor, three locators, Return To Zero (RTZ), auto-RTZ on key, and auto-RTZ every one, two, or four bars.

Obviously, this entry won’t be of much interest to you if you don’t need another lo-fi effect. It also won’t be of much interest to you if you’re looking strictly for a vibraphone VST. But since it does include vibraphone samples, we’d thought we’d mention it.

Learn more: Plugin Boutique

What Should I Look For In A Vibraphone VST Plugin?

We looked at a handful of plugins in this guide, but the reality is there are only four that come with dedicated vibraphone sounds – Solo Vibraphone, Cassette Vibraphone, Fine Mallets Bundle, and Budapest Abstract Vibes.

All other VSTs we’ve looked at may come with vibraphone like tones, but are not standalone vibraphone instruments per se. They have their own uses, no doubt, but they probably won’t be your first picks if an organic / authentic vibraphone sound is what you need.

So, this is a good thing to keep in mind as you’re shopping for the right plugin. It can certainly help you narrow down your options faster.

But what else should you consider? Here are the main factors we like to look at when hunting for a vibraphone plugin:

  • Sound quality
  • Features
  • Budget

Now let’s talk about each consideration.

Sound Quality

I have some good news for you in terms of sound quality – you’d be hard pressed to find a vibraphone VST plugin that sounds bad.

Sure, Principessa, Marble, and Portatron are off the beaten path choices, but they do what they do well.

In terms of dedicated vibraphone / mallet instrument VSTs, Solo Vibraphone, Budapest Abstract Vibes, Cassette Vibraphone, and Fine Mallets Bundle all sound fantastic.

If you’re not after a lo-fi sound, then you could eliminate Cassette Vibraphone from the running.

If you’re not after abstract soundscapes and ambient textures, then you could eliminate Budapest Abstract Vibes from the running too (also note that Solo Vibraphone and Fine Mallets Bundle basically do the same thing).

So, in terms of best sounding instruments, you’d be left with Solo Vibraphone and Fine Mallets Bundle, and the one you choose will come down to budget and how many instruments you need. If you only need a vibraphone sound, then you can eliminate Fine Mallets Bundle.

This would be my basic thought process around sound quality, though it doesn’t mean you need to adopt the same mental model.

So, take your time, explore each option, listen to them, and find a plugin that meets you needs first and foremost.

Features

Some of the more common features you will find with a vibraphone VST are instruments / sound sources, articulations, mic positions, FX, lo-fi parameters (noise, etc.), LFO, arpeggiator, and presets (this should not be considered a comprehensive list).

If you know what features you need, there isn’t much to think about. If you’re not sure, then take your time and explore each feature in detail. Also note that not all plugins were created equal, and different plugins have different features.

Budget

A solid vibraphone VST plugin should only cost you $60 to $140. Even so, plugins are terribly addicting, and if your shopping list is long, the cost can add up fast.

We encourage you to consult your budget at every turn and avoid going into debt for music related purchases. If there’s a plugin you must have but can’t afford it now, save up for it.

Top Vibraphone VST Plugins, Final Thoughts

The vibraphone may well be one of the mellowest instruments out there, and to that extent, it would probably work well in ambient, lo-fi, and chillout too. But regardless of how you intend to use it, we hope you found what you’re looking for. Let us know how you get on!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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